‘If The Worst Happens… ‘

I have a story in this week’s Woman’s Weekly (the one with Julie Walters on the front), which is pleasing BUT they’ve cut 27% of it! (700 words out of 2,600). Hmm, that’s come as a bit of a shock!

When they first accepted the story, they told me they’d be cutting a couple of lines and they told me exactly which ones they were – and that was all fine – but, presumably because they wanted to get the story onto 2 pages (with a picture), big chunks have had to go.

I don’t think it’s because they hated almost a third of the story – they just wouldn’t have accepted it in the first place and, to be fair, they’ve managed to do it in a way that doesn’t affect the storyline too much – but there was more ‘character development’ and, if I do say so myself, humour, in the longer version.

Never mind – WW is the boss! Once they’ve bought your story, article or letter, a magazine is quite at liberty to do whatever they like with it and as writers, we can’t get too ‘precious’ about our work, can we?

(On a slightly different note, I’ve just terrified myself by writing my entry for the Halloween Writers Bureau 140 character scary story.

I read a few ghostly stories on line, just to get myself in the mood and now I’m imagining all kinds of bumps and strange noises in the house! And it’s not even dark yet! Eeeeek!)

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12 Responses to ‘If The Worst Happens… ‘

  1. Congratulations on the publication. I can imagine you’re a little disappointed they cut some out, but think you’re right not to be too concerned. As you say, they wouldn’t have accepted it if they didn’t think it was good. I suppose we just have to accept that the editors know the magagazine and their readers best.

  2. Michaela Eyley says:

    Fantastic news; well done you! Will get the issue I think, especially if it has another knitting pattern in it for my mother-in-law. To have your work cut that much must be very annoying though as I am sure you put your heart into it and then they disrepect it to such a degree – shocking but probably not uncommon.

  3. Keith Havers says:

    Congratulations, Helen. I’ll look forward to reading that.

  4. Congratulations Helen.
    They’re the bosses as you say. I’d love to have a story accepted by WW, I think in this age of computers, they have to keep everything sharp, quick, to the point incase people haven’t got much time. I’m sure your original version was better. Wonder if that means you can use it again:) (only joking)

  5. It’s all good Helen. You got a story published! Congratulations. Diane Fordham

  6. Prue says:

    Congratulations on the story. Personally, I’d rather have more words and fewer pictures. It’s not as if they add a lot to the story.
    It isn’t just WW that pads with pictures – New Scientist does too. Whole pages of the stuff. More words please!

  7. I’ve just read it Helen, lovely story.

  8. Nan says:

    Wow, congratulations! I sent them a story a few months ago. They said no thanks. Sigh!

    I just had some of my sons’ friends over for a dress-up party. It WAS scary! 🙂

  9. Michaela Eyley says:

    Helen I really enjoyed reading the story. Found it very touching as well. The copy is now with my mum-in-law and I shall ask her what she made of it. Yes, it’s a shame that it got shortened, but I could still identify with the characters and your descriptions brought them all to life. I also liked the humour in it so pat yourself on the back!

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